Rue Montorgueil and Les Halles in Pictures

  • 01 of 10

    Rue Montorgueil, Pedestrian Market Street - View from South End

    Rue Montorgueil on a hazy March day.
    ©2007 Courtney Traub. Licensed to

    One of Paris' oldest market streets, and nestled in Paris' ultracentral 2nd arrondissement on the right bank (rive droite), Rue Montorgueil is a pedestrian-only zone lined with some of the city's best fish, produce, and fine grocery shops. Yet the are remains mysteriously overlooked by tourists, who often bypass it as they visit major attractions such as the nearby Centre Georges Pompidou or the old mansions of the Marais district.

    The shopkeepers here are known for their enthusiasm and their old-world warmth, so when you visit you'll be sure to hear cries (or even songs) announcing fresh salmon, peaches, or cheeses on sale. Though Rue Montorgueil is in the smack-center of the city, it retains a small village atmosphere.

    Metro stops: Etienne Marcel, Les Halles or Sentier -- look for Rue Montorgueil on the area map in the Paris metro

    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    The Historic Au Rocher du Cancale Restaurant

    The Au Rocher du Cancale building on Rue Montorgueil.
    ©2007 Courtney Traub. Licensed to
    Au Rocher du Cancale is a restaurant that has been open since the mid-19th century. The eye-catching building on Rue Montorgueil is decorated in an ornate neo-Renaissance style. The restaurant, well known for its seafood platters, attracts crowds, especially when the weather is warm and you can enjoy their terrace outside. People-watching on the bustling pedestrian street is a must.

    Address: 78 rue Montorgueil
    Tel: +33 (0)1 42 33 50 29
    Metro: Sentier or Etienne Marcel

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Spice Bread and Chess on Pedestrian Market Street in Paris

    A merchant selling spice bread enjoys a game of chess between customers.
    ©2007 Courtney Traub. Licensed to

    Rue Montorgueil's shopkeepers are known for unconventional displays of whimsy. Here, a merchant selling spice bread (pain aux épices) enjoys a game of chess between customers. Market culture in Paris is still very vibrant, and while it takes some time to get to know the local purveyors of cheese, baked goods, fruit, vegetables or fish here, once you do, you can always expect a warm smile (and a dose of old-fashioned Parisian teasing, never to be taken seriously).

    Related Reading: Top Open-Air Paris Food Markets by Arrondissement

    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Cheeseshop Cow on Rue Montorgueil

    Cheese shop storefront on Rue Montorgueil, Paris.
    ©2007 Courtney Traub. Licensed to

    A cow graces the storefront of one of Rue Montorgueil's fine cheese sellers. If you're interested in sampling some fine cheeses from the country's many esteemed regions, this area will do the trick. Also try Rue Cler in the 7th arrondissement, or Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter.

    Related Reading: Top Gourmet Food Shops and Supermarkets in Paris

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    La Maison Stohrer Bakery

    La Maison Stohrer bakery in Paris
    ©2007 Ashley Byock.

    La Maison Stohrer is one of the the oldest and most revered Parisian patisseries (pastry shops) and caterers. The shop on Rue Montorgueil is the oldest and opened in the early 18th century. The storefront and interior alone are admirable for their elaborate frescoes and carvings. This shot, taken on a Sunday, gives a sense of how crowded the store gets, especially during the weekend.

    Related Reading: Best Bakeries in Paris: Mouthwatering Bread and Treats

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    A Better View of Pastries at La Maison Stohrer

    ©2007 Courtney Traub. Licensed to

    In France, pastry makers are traditionally held to strict standards of aesthetics-- a pastry must not only taste fantastic, but look perfect. The pastries at La Maison Stohrer are among Paris' most beautiful.

    Related Reading:

    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    The Jean Sans-Peur Tower: A Glimpse of Medieval Paris

    ©2007 Courtney Traub. Licensed to

    This 15th-century structure in the center of the Etienne Marcel fashion district is Paris' only fortified medieval tower. The infamous Duke of Burgundy, or "Fearless Jean", assassinated his cousin the Duke of Orleans here. Visitors can climb the tower's spiral staircase and explore several rooms.

    Getting There: Take metro line 4 to Etienne Marcel. The tower is located at 20 rue Etienne Marcel. Open daily except Sunday, 1:30 pm-6:00 pm. See the official website for more info.

    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Eglise Saint-Eustache

    ©2006 Ashley Byock.
    The Saint-Eustache Church dates to the 16th century and was long considered a church of royalty due to its proximity to the Royal Palace at the Louvre. The church boasts some of Paris' largest organs. Construction was never completed, giving the church its somewhat odd appearance.
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Les Halles Shopping Complex Under Dusky Skies

    ©2006 Ashley Byock.

    Known as "the belly of Paris", the monstrous shopping center at Les Halles in central Paris was, up until the mid-20th century, the location of Paris' most important open-air market. For hygiene reasons, the market was moved out of the city center to a south suburb. Les Halles shopping center is notoriously labyrinthian and difficult to navigate, and its design never quite won over the public. Plans to completely redesign Les Halles are in the works, but are themselves controversial.

    Read More: Guide to the Forum des Halles Shopping Center

    Related: Top Shopping Malls in Paris

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Busy Evening on Rue Rambuteau

    Rue Rambuteau, with Les Halles Shopping Center on the right.
    ©2007 Courtney Traub.

    Rue Rambuteau is lined with shops and extends from the Eglise Saint-Eustache and Les Halles to the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Marais.